Health Challenge Past Interns: 2009
Maryanne Wachter, 2011, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Applications of Hydroxyapatite in Fluoride Sorption
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
"This summer I explored the uses of hydroxyapatite for sorption of fluoride from water in rural areas. My research dealt mainly with synthesizing hydroxyapatite in a hard porous form that could be used in a water filter, as hydroxyapatite binds excess fluoride in water, reducing its concentration to safe amounts for consumption. I worked with combining flour, yeast, clay, and hydroxyapatite to produce a porous material before firing my samples in a kiln to achieve the desired hardness. The goal of the project was to create a process that can easily be reproduced in rural areas like India, where fluorosis is a major health issue, causing softening and bending of bones, especially in young children. As a result of my summer research, I am continuing with this project as an independent study in Fall 2009."